There must be something in the air over Germany of late. After decades of clear, logical, easy to understand badging policies, a number of the premium German car brands have recently decided to rename their model ranges, sometimes confusingly mid-way through their product life cycle with a mild facelift.
Audi was the first to do this some years back, when the familiar 80 range became the A4 series, the 100, the A6, and so on. More recently, BMW has followed suit, rebranding its popular 3-Series Coupe and Convertible models as the 4-Series. Porsche then did the same late last week, turning its refreshed Model Year 2016 Boxster and Cayman models into the 718 series, reviving the marque’s old racing nomenclature from the 1950s.
Now Mercedes-Benz has joined the party, confusing the world by renaming its SLK two-seater roadster as the SLC for its 2016 facelift, hot on the heals of rebranding its GL SUV as the GLS a few months ago.
The new SLC name coincides with the 20th anniversary of the SLK first being launched in 1996, with its innovative ‘vario roof’ folding hardtop creating a whole new sub-segment of two-seater sports cars at the time. As well as a new name, the SLC gains a sportier SL-style ‘family look’ facelift, plus a raft of other improvements being made to the car, with dynamic, safety and connectivity enhancements throughout.
A new high-performance derivative, the Mercedes-AMG SLC 43, offers the combination of an economical 3.0-litre V6 bi-turbo engine and 9G-TRONIC sports transmission, to develop 270kW (367bhp). The 43 stands for the further-developed AMG 3.0-litre V6 bi-turbo motor. First UK deliveries of this, along with the rest of the new SLC range, begin in April 2016.
Photography courtesy of Mercedes-Benz